Time

Sometimes everything seems to go by so quickly. Many of the friends that were pregnant at the same time I was with L are posting pictures of their little ones as newborns nearly FOUR years ago. What? L will be four in just a few months? But he’s still just my melodramatic baby boy!

Melodramatic Baby L

That means T is nearly 2 1/2…oh-so that’s why he’s not my super agreeable barrel-chested boy all the time anymore. woot.

Agreeable Baby T

And M, my extra considerate baby girl…will be old enough to sleep train soon! Where did the time go? Not that I’m complaining…you know, since now I might get a little more sleep? I’ve already had to get her 3-6 month clothes out. She’s long and thin…kind of like mommy. L took a long time to grow out of his clothes as a baby (still the same). T grew out of them because he was thick. M is growing out of them because she’s tall.

Considerate Baby M

Sometimes everything seems to go by too slowly for anyone’s patience to hold…like when you’re waiting for your next vacation home.

And then there’s how I spend my time, everyday, over and over again like I’m on a merry-go-round that won’t ever stop. I really like predictability and auto-piloting as much as I can, but the flexibility for spontaneity is so necessary. Unfortunately, the opportunity for spontaneity when living in a country that you don’t have a firm grasp of the language with three children under the age of four is about nil.

Isn’t it funny how time can feel so different all at the same time? What do you do when the “I need to do something out of the ordinary” bug bites you?

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First Born Problems

Birth order is important, but in what way?

According to popular belief, L

First-Born

is/will be confident, determined, a born leader, organized, eager to please, and likes to avoid trouble. Some of these traits have not shown up yet…like the avoiding trouble one? Yeah…hopefully that’s coming.

T

Middle Child

can/will be able to roll with the punches, negotiate well, and have lots of loyal friends. I’m definitely nervous about when that negotiator comes out.

M

Youngest

will be persistent, a great storyteller, and affectionate. Maybe she can take over story time for Mom & Dad one day!

Now that I’m on the third one, I often think how I could have done better with the first. Momanoia (I’m just going to go with that one) was in it’s height when L was a baby and I can’t help but think that if I hadn’t been so paranoid and afraid of everything I would have done a better job (or at least made my life a little easier now by preparing him better for toddler-hood and pre-school life). Not that my job is anywhere near done with him, but let’s just take a moment and thank God that he won’t remember the first three years of his life. Woohoo! Win for me 🙂

But seriously, I find myself being harder on L than T when rules are broken. I REALLY try to avoid that, but it just seems to come out that way for some reason. For instance, at nap-time T will do really well if I hold him and sing a song, but why wasn’t my instinct to help L to go to sleep that way when he was T’s age? Maybe I had it in my head that he wouldn’t learn how to go to sleep on his own if I did that? M doesn’t even need a song. Just wrap her up with her owie-owie (AKA Pacifier) and she’s good to go. Will she be the best off because I know more the third time around?

I know that I can only be the best Mom that I can, but sometimes I wish I could go back with the knowledge I have now and fix it. Luckily for L, he’s got birth order on his side.

Nap Time

This time of day has been the worst part of  my day for a long time.

Once T was born…

APGAR score of 9.9!

…and L climbed out of his crib in the middle of the night successfully busting his lip at 18 months…

L at 18 months

…and we put him into a Toddler bed.

We probably should have gone with a crib tent at the time, but I was afraid that he would halfway figure out how to get out and strangle himself on the way. You know, mom-paranoia? I need to think of a non-hyphenated version of that. Momanoia maybe? eh…

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Weissbluth has been my baby sleep bible. The book suggests clear and concise “bedtime rules” once children are put into toddler beds that they can get out of. They have morphed over the last two years to be as follows:

1. Stay laying down in your bed.

2. Be very quiet.

3. Close your eyes.

4. Go to sleep.

Bedtime rules have NOT allowed me to leave the room before both boys are asleep. Neither has the “Jack-in-the-Box” method where you put your kiddo back in bed time after time without emotion involved. No talking, just pick them up and put them back in. They have just moved on to staying in their beds while jumping or playing with the curtain or pushing their beds away from the wall or any other number of nap time diversionary tactics.

So now I have resolved myself to sitting in the doorway while reading a book and letting my presence be the reason they finally go to sleep. I thought about L (3 1/2) dropping his nap, but he’s just not ready. If he’s not asleep by 2, I’ll usually let him out of his room to play quietly or lay with me, but it’s always a big mistake. Unfortunately, whenever this happens he becomes a crazed monster around 4 o’clock and then promptly falls asleep on the drive to pick up Daddy. Which in turn makes bedtime even more difficult.

My recently developed prayer rule has me praying my midday prayers after they fall asleep at nap time. After a few particularly difficult days I had an epiphany as I said the Orthodox prayer of parents for their children. Part of the prayer asks that they be drawn nearer to God, doing His will in all things.

Not my will. His. God’s will.

Now I’m not saying that children shouldn’t listen to their parents, but because this has been such a struggle for so long it became clear to me that God is working through my children in order to save me. In other words, my children are my path to salvation. Not because they are perfect, but because we cannot raise children in the path of His truth without His help.

M's First Communion

…and again…

This is probably the second or third time I’ve started blogging after the initial lure when I was pregnant with L.

30 weeks pregnant with Luke

At some point I stopped…then I looked like this…again

SUPER pregnant with Thomas

And T arrived.

APGAR score of 9.9!

I started blogging again because I had postpartum depression and it felt really good to write sometimes. Sometimes it felt like a blown-out diaper combined with spit up down my shirt, but most times it was a good release.

I’m starting again now because I live in Manaus. The middle of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. (Plus, my really awesome blogger friend, Julie, made my blog look pretty. Thanks!)

https://i0.wp.com/www.vacationstogo.com/images/ports/maps/638_w.gif

It’s essentially an island where everything is imported because it’s surrounded by forest. It’s really incredible, but I don’t have my village. You know, the one that it takes to raise children? Maybe this can be my village–my remote, faceless, online, cyber-village.